Stupid Coastal Restoration Schemes

The land is subsiding and the ocean is rising. Let’s fix this by putting heavy stuff on the bottom of the ocean.

Maybe we can fix it by building a dam in front of the marsh:

Sewage diversions – take the poorly treated sewage that is causing the dead zone off the mouth of the Mississippi and put it in our coastal wetlands. The best research shows that the effect is exactly what any gardener would expect – too much fertilizer weakens the roots of the plants and eventually kills them:

Can River Diversions Restore Marshland?

With luck, you can also increase the levels of persistent toxins: Chemicals from Land-Applied Biosolids Persist in Soil.

Oyster shells can save the world:

 Pump once and you are done

Putting aside the unrealistic estimates of the amount of sand necessary to create this land, and the $125,000 an acre cost of building it, the most telling part of this story is that the project has a limited lifetime. It is based on a steady state world model in which they can pump the sand and then stop and things will be fine. Yet subsidence and sea level rise will be drowning the land from the first first day of the project. This project also assumes that no hurricanes will come along and redistribute the sand.But like the schemes, this will move a lot of other people’s money to local contractors.

 How to make a pond in a sponge:

Soil that has had the organics oxidized out does not reconstitute itself when wet. Building these ponds would require saturating the land around them, since the there is a constant flow of water through the soil to the pumps. If you stop pumping, the water starts to accumulate. If you have saturated the area with water before a rain storm, you have reduced the capacity of the area to absorb new water. This will increase the flooding as the pumps struggle to dewater the area so that the flood water will then be pumped out.

 Ridges to nowhere

Wetland Creation In West Bay, Louisiana, Using Dredge Material From The Mississippi River Hopper Dredge Disposal Area (2014)